The old road begins its ascent immediately heading south from U.S. 24, then gently switches back on the ascent through the wonderful meadows for which the hill is named.
The average grade to the top is relatively steep, about 8%. The grade stiffens a bit as you make the final climb through aspen groves and a logged clear-cut area to the U.S. Forest Service hut at the top.
The descent on the single-track trail begins just to the east of the hut. After about 500 yards, turn right just before the old wooden fence and enjoy a thrilling downhill run through meadows and small streams.
Route location: In Eagle County, northeast of Minturn.
Surface: Slightly rocky forest road and single-track trail. The last 1 1/2 miles is on paved state highway.
Distance: 9.5 miles.
Ride time: Allow at least 2-3 hours to complete the loop.
Difficulty: Moderate plus. The route gains 2,000 vertical feet in the initial 4 1/2 miles, and there are several steep, mildly technical sections to negotiate on the descent.
From Denver: Travel west on I-70 through Vail to exit 171 at Minturn. Travel south on U.S. 24 for a few hundred yards to the Meadow Mountain parking lot on the right. Allow for at least 3 hours driving time.